from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not formal or ceremonious; casual: an informal gathering of friends; a relaxed, informal manner.
  • adj. Not being in accord with prescribed regulations or forms; unofficial: an informal agreement.
  • adj. Suited for everyday wear or use: informal clothes.
  • adj. Being more appropriate for use in the spoken language than in the written language.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not formal or ceremonious; casual.
  • adj. Not in accord with the usual regulations; unofficial.
  • adj. Suited for everyday use.
  • adj. Reflecting everyday, non-ceremonious usage.
  • adj. Not organized; not structured or planned.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not in the regular, usual, or established form; not according to official, conventional, prescribed, or customary forms or rules; irregular; hence, without ceremony.
  • adj. Deranged in mind; out of one's senses.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not formal; not in the regular or usual form or manner; not according to rule or custom; unceremonious; irregular: as, an informal writing; informal proceedings; an informal visit.
  • Distracted or deranged in mind.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not officially recognized or controlled
  • adj. having or fostering a warm or friendly and informal atmosphere
  • adj. not formal
  • adj. used of spoken and written language


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • V. i.236 (129,4) [These poor informal women] I once believed _informal_ had no other or deeper signification than _informing, accusing_.

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  • I suppose you can call it "informal" -- we have a book club during the summers, and this year it was on Dinshaw.

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  • The ministers did say they would welcome what they call "informal voluntary" roll-overs by Greek bond holders, meaning that those who hold Greek debt would hold off demanding payment.

    No Agreement on Greece by Eurozone Ministers

  • Right off the kitchen was what she called their informal dining room.

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  • Besides the glass, the materials used in the building are what he described as "informal": mostly concrete, including the smoothly polished floors, with an industrial feel, rather than the ornate wood or plaster of older, traditional "museums."

    An Eruption in Margate

  • The board had been due to meet Sunday in what it described as a "informal" meeting but issued a statement saying the briefing had been postponed "pending further developments in New York."

    IMF chief Strauss-Kahn to undergo medical tests over sex charge

  • This commission “promotes” compliance with the Human Rights Code by investigating complaints of these “violations”, and then undertaking what they call informal mediation with their Tribunals.

    The HRC: Where Whiners Are Always Welcome « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

  • He said the survey in the "Stars and Stripes" newspaper was what he termed informal and unscientific.

    CNN Transcript Oct 16, 2003

  • Mr Speaker felt compelled to halt what he called the informal debate, commenting that its content was not exemplary.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The S.E.C.'s enforcement unit sent a letter late last year to several private equity funds as part of what it called an "informal inquiry" into the industry, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

    NYT > Home Page


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